Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (English-language review)

By Lucario on Tue 24 April 2007

Ok, here it is. Can we have a drum roll please…
I’ve finally dared to put the English-language version of the eighth Pokémon movie in my DVD player. In all honesty, it wasn’t quite as bad as I had feared. It was a disappointment, as the Japanese version is in 2.35:1 widescreen letterbox format to suit its cinematic presentation in Japan. The English version, conversely, was designed as a direct-to-DVD release and thus was presented in the standard TV presentation of 4:3. As I have a widescreen TV, the result is that the Annoying Yellow Rat looks even more obese!
I’ve made some comments on this in my review on the Japanese movie. Again, we see Meowth caring for Pikachu, but “I guess you’d radda be wit’ your twoipy pal.” And again, while Ash the Twerp thanks Lucario for leading him to Pikachu, Meowth chimes in that he was the one who took care of Pikachu. Only to be ignored.

Topics: Gary Was Right, Ash Is a Loser!, Lost in Translation, Reviews—Movies | No Comments »

Anthropomorphic Pokémon

By Lucario on Mon 13 November 2006

Now with Pokémon Mystery Dungeon now available in the UK, this brings a major paradigm shift in the way we view Pokémon.

Currently, in the Pokémon games, you play the part of a trainer, capturing the creatures we call Pokémon, to battle. They are just creatures, like pets, that you keep with you. They don’t act on their own without action from their human trainers.

In the anime, there is a slight difference. In an effort to enable us to communicate with Pokémon in “Poké-speak”, as it were, we have Meowth, who possesses some human characteristics, such as the ability to talk and stand upright (see the episode Go West, Young Meowth/Nyaasu No AIUEO for more details), but more importantly, the ability to act independently of Jessie and James. That is, Meowth possesses a high degree of anthropomorphism (a display of human characteristics). In the TV series, he is more or less the only one, though in the episode Pikachu’s Goodbye, we see the Annoying Yellow Rat exhibiting some human traits, compared to the wild ones.

Further, in the movies, the main Pokémon featured in the movie usually also possesses varying degrees of human characteristics. Notably, Celebi and Jirachi (and Mew!) seem to fall largely outside of this remit:
Movie 1: Mewtwo
Movie 2: Lugia
Movie 3: Entei
Movie 5: Latias and Latios (though they don’t talk)
Movie 7: Deoxys (and to a lesser extent Rayquaza)
Movie 8: Rukario

Interestingly, with the exception of Rukario (and the ubiquitous Meowth), all of the other anthropomorphic Pokémon are legendary.

However, this is all about to change. Mystery Dungeon has the main protagonists being Pokémon, acting on their own, with no trainer, in their own human-free Poké-land.

My copy is on order and should be here by the end of the week. Guess what I’ll be spending my weekend doing…

Topics: Lost in Translation | No Comments »

Politically-incorrect Pokémon critics

By Lucario on Tue 26 September 2006

I saw a character on the Pokémon episode #252 “The Ice Cave” that not only stripped the phenomenon of its innocence but stopped me cold. The character Ruujura resembles an image of Carole Boston Weatherford on a good day. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and it is a waste of what would otherwise be an intelligent mind to go around and invent imagery to accuse Pokémon of being racially offensive (and anime in general; let’s not forget the djinni Mr Popo of Dragonball). Mr Popo looks like a djinni; Ruujura is a caricature of Yama-uba. Worse yet, NOA lets Ms Weatherford get away with dictating their policies, blocking transmission of any episode containing Ruujura, thereby removing imagined Japanese stereotypes and inserting very real American ones.

I eagerly await the flames, especially if Ms Weatherford stumbles across this site whilst ego-surfing…

Topics: Lost in Translation | No Comments »

The present (and future?)…

By Lucario on Fri 15 September 2006

Right. Now if we look over at Wikipedia, we can see the number of Pokémon constantly on the increase, currently sitting at 416. When I looked a couple of weeks ago, the number was 405. I guess Nint^H^H^H^H NOA has released details on a few more fourth-generation monsters; so far, that’s 30 new ones, including most of the legendaries. I wonder what they’re going to add in Diamond/Pearl… or worse, what they’re going to leave out! It was bad enough that they left out some of the best Pokémon in RS (Growlithe/Arcanine…) and left in some of the worst (that annoying yellow rat).

Oh well, at least the Engl American version of movie 8 will be out on DVD soon, and I’ve got mine pre-ordered from Amazon. Japanese version should also be on its way. Watch this space for the review!

Also coming out in November is the box set of episodes 1-28 of the original TV series. This should be the first 9 DVDs. As that’s only 27 episodes, I wonder if the 28th is Holiday in Acapulco Beauty and the Beach. Amazon also interestingly lists this as being dual-language Japanese/English, though I saw a grey-market importer in the UK showing it as having the English soundtrack only.

Well, only time will tell…

Topics: Lost in Translation | 1 Comment »